“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse…and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit (the profit, donations, or wages)
of your ground (from your business, ministry, or job).” Malachi 3:10, 11
Devourer in Hebrew means ‘to eat’. Therefore, the devourer eats at your finances. But how? By influencing you to do it and here’s how it usually works.
You see, the devourer convinces you that you can’t afford to tithe because you have to pay your living expenses. So once you get paid, you immediately pay your rent, mortgage, utilities, phone, transportation expenses, buy food for your family, and perhaps set aside a little of your discretionary income towards savings. I mean there’s nothing wrong with that.
But what happens is that since you didn’t set aside the tithe (10%) before you paid your living expenses, you go into hyper-consumption by spending (eating) the remaining of your discretionary income on things like cable, apparel, personal care appointments, techno devices, entertainment, and we still haven’t factored in what the kids want. Now hear me out; those things aren’t wrong - in and of themselves – because ‘God gives us richly all things to enjoy’. (I Tim 6:17) The problem is when you spend a portion of your tithe on them and afterward come to church on Sunday thinking ‘I couldn’t afford to!’
What happened? You ate your tithe and all the devourer had to do was convince you that the things your discretionary income went towards are actually living expenses. He kept reminding you of your bills and advertised a few sales which led you to believe that you couldn’t afford to tithe. So how can you?
Immediately subtract 10% of your total income before you calculate your living expenses and decide what you’re going to do with your discretionary income. Then make sure not to include that 10% in your remaining total. And don’t get caught up in the gross or net because quite frankly that’s a heart issue.
For example, say you make $800 biweekly and it’s the end of the month; so your rent, car payment and insurance are due on the 1st. Don’t even include that $80. But what if you owe $75 for last month’s cable bill? Really? Cable. You’d rob God to see the latest episode of The Sisterhood® or The Real Housewives of Atlanta®? If you have to put cable on hold for a month, do it; but stop allowing the devourer to influence you to eat what rightfully belongs to God.
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I just don’t see how I can afford to tithe with what I make. But Lord if You show me how, I am more than willing to learn. Thank You for teaching me how to tithe. In Jesus’ name.
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